Jeroen Devroe Withdraws from 2012 World Cup Finals

Thu, 03/29/2012 - 14:01
2012 World Cup Finals

Belgium's number one Grand Prix rider Jeroen Devroe has withdrawn from competing at the 2012 World Cup Finals in 's Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, on 19 - 22 April 2012. The Belgian rider has chosen to ride at the 2012 CDIO Saumur in France the last week of April. The 2012 World Cup Finals would have been Devroe's fifth in his career

Devroe will not be competing his Belgian warmblood gelding Apollo van het Vijverhof (by Welt Hit II x Ritmeister) as the rider will be focusing on the outdoor show season in order to solidify his individual Olympic qualification spot for Belgium, which he earned by finishing in the top 50 of the FEI Olympic Riders Ranking on 2 March 2012.

The Nieuwrode based Devroe, who is under contract with the Belgian Flemmish Sports Society BLOSO, has to achieve one additional 70% score at an outdoor competition as stipulated by the Belgian Olympic Committee (BOIC). If he accomplishes this he will be properly considered for Belgian representation at the 2012 Olympic Games. Furthermore the FEI Olympic Rankings List determines an individual spot per country and not per rider. While Jeroen Devroe was able to unlock the slot for Belgium by standing 24th on the Ranking, it is no guarantee that the Belgian Equestrian Federation will nominate him to go to the Games unless he keeps showing form throughout the 2012 outdoor show seaon.

"It's not very logical of the FEI to grant the spot to a country and not an individual," Devroe told Eurodressage. "I understand the reasoning that if a horse goes unsound the country is still allowed to send another rider, but it puts so much pressure on the individual riders to keep peaking."

The FEI Olympic Riders Ranking system forced many riders from smaller dressage nations to compete excessively during the winter show season.

"The goal was the finish as high as possible on the ranking and I had to ride all winter for that. I did a lot of competitions and well achieved 70% three times. I know now for sure that I will be seriously considered for Olympic participation, but I wasn't able to spare my horse," Devroe admitted. "Originally I wanted to go to Den Bosch, give my horse a rest and then slowly prepare for London."

The pressure to stay on form throughout the year has now compelled Devroe to change his schedule. "I deeply regret that I have to drop the World Cup Finals, but I will ride at Saumur as it would fit my planning better leading up to London."

Devroe is contemplating riding at Wiesbaden, De Steeg and/or Compiegne but it all depends on his performance in Saumur. "The way the season goes will determine which road I'll have to take," Devroe concluded. "If I get 70% in Saumur, I can take a breath afterwards and think quietly about my preparation for London. I can't do that at the moment."

The FEI will be sending an invitation to Dutch Jenny Schreven (with Krawall) to fill up Devroe's vacant spot.

Text and Photos © Astrid Appels - No Reproduction Allowed

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